(WKBN) – How many times have you put off cutting your grass this season? It was either too wet, too hot or you just didn’t have time. The grass is growing fast and it’s a tall problem again this year — already.
There are two sets of rules for handling tall grass. Townships like Austintown follow state law.
“We operate under Ohio Revised Code,” said Austintown Zoning Inspector Darren Crivelli. “We have to follow the nuisance law because we’re using taxpayers’ dollars to improve private property.”
The zoning department will go out to verify a tall grass complaint within 24 hours. The township will send the property owner a letter, giving them ten days to cut it. If it’s still not cut after ten days, trustees have the option of declaring it a nuisance.
Austintown trustees have declared 140 properties a public nuisance in its past two meetings.
“It does take time. If you call us today, the grass isn’t going to be cut tomorrow if we have to declare it a nuisance,” Crivelli said.
The entire process can take up to a month. Township leaders said you can always cut the grass yourself — it’ll get done quicker.
The road department is in charge of cutting the grass and it’s been working overtime, trying to catch up with the backlog.
“Once we abate the nuisance, we cut the grass or remove the debris. We’re not going to go back unless people call us,” Crivelli said.
If a house stays vacant through the summer, it may get cut three or four times.
To report grass that’s at least a foot high in Austintown, call the zoning office at 330-799-3241. All complaints are anonymous.
The City of Youngstown can set its own rules. Grass and weeds cannot be taller than eight inches.
Youngstown’s grass cutting program started April 1. This year, each ward has a vendor to cut the overgrown grass.
“It’s just a little more efficient, as far as when we get a call-in complaint, it goes right to that vendor, right to their email and they’re on it,” said Youngstown Superintendent of Code Enforcement Mike Durkin.
The city cut grass at 1,630 homes last year. The street department handles vacant lots.
Now that the vendors have been expanded, they’re helping the city.
“Last year, they were kind of hopscotch all over the place and it didn’t work well. It was less proficient for them. So this year, it’s definitely working better for them,” Durkin said.
To report tall grass at a vacant lot or house in Youngstown, call the Grass Nuisance Office at 330-744-3186. If there is tall grass at a home someone’s living in, call the Property Code Enforcement and Demolition Department at 330-742-8888.
In Warren, you can report tall grass by calling the health department at 330-841-2612.
If you live somewhere else and want to report overgrown grass, all you have to do is call your local government.